My name is Mia Downs and I’m a 15 year old sophomore at Council Rock High School South. I’m super excited to be able to participate in the TRIP program, as science is definitely my favorite subject. I’m still deciding what branch of science I want to go into in the future; currently, I’m interested in the field of medicine. Last summer, to get an ounce of exposure, I spent time volunteering at Abington Hospital doing Patient Transport. I felt pretty official with my hospital volunteer shirt, ID card, and designated duties. At the same time, I was working two jobs: one at a local toy store, and the other at Rita’s water ice. Can you tell I like staying busy?
My interests are varied and diverse. I sing in my school choir, participate in my school’s Latin Club, and am a member of the Music Honors Society. I love animals, especially my cat, and have volunteered at local animal rescue groups. Each Fall, I manage my own walk team, Mia’s Magicians, to raise funds for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and I am CPR/AED certified. In terms of frivolity, I paint my nails a new color just several times a week, I can watch one rerun after another of The Office for hours, and I bake a decent gluten free brownie. I was on a diving team for a few seasons, took some gymnastics and dance classes, and I love to travel, having been to Ireland, Greece, Rome, and many US states. By far, I’m the biggest night owl in my family-- in the summer, I often go to bed as the sun is rising.
British physicist Stephen Hawking once said, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” These are words I think about as I navigate through experiences, and TRIP is a program which fits right in: promoting wonder and engaging students’ curiosities as we work hard and learn more about scientific research. Any education and experience I can gain in the field of science brings me closer to setting and realizing my goals. I have two autoimmune conditions, Type 1 diabetes and celiac. There are scientists out there right now researching in labs in to find cures, and the impact of their work will impact millions. Science changes lives. Someday, I know it will change mine.
Other than science, I enjoy reading fantasy and (sometimes) dystopian novels, I play tennis, and I love video games; Oh, and watching Netflix and YouTube. I also enjoy daydreaming about random things, and I really like mechanical drafting pencils.
The reason I applied to TRIP is because I wanted to be able to do research of my own, be exposed to the scientific world, and learn. Although it’s only been two weeks so far, I’ve already learned a lot about fly biology and I’ve started my first experiment on fruit flies! It’s a ton of fun, and it’s only going to get better from now on!
Apart from band, I am involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life team at my school, as well as debate, FBLA, DECA, and the tennis team! I love listening to artists and bands like the Beatles, Green Day and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Modern chill rock and 80’s music are some of my favorite types of music I have recently delved into. My favorite TV shows are The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place.
I am involved with the TRIP Initiative because I have a passion for research. Thus far, I have been involved with the AP Research program, in which one largely does social science research and data analysis due to the lack of lab availability opportunities. However, I was eager to find an opportunity where I can expand on my research skills into a scientific lab-based setting. I think that applying science is our chance to build a sustainable future for our planet and I am intrigued by the vast possibilities. I am currently researching public perception of artificial intelligence; I’m trying to see if I can correlate a level of public knowledge of AI with the likelihood of the coming of a theory known as the Technological Singularity, which, as described by computer scientist Ray Kurzweil, is when technological intelligence merges with human intelligence. I am excited to be able to learn more about lab-based science and I value this opportunity of being able to experiment with different ideas and research projects in order to foster academic growth. I hope to be able to go into lab-based sciences as a career ( I know it’s super broad, but hopefully this program will help me narrow that down)!
Hi, my name is Logan Meritz, and I am a 10th grader at William Tennent High School. I decided to apply to TRIP because I wanted to get involved in a science-oriented, after school activity that wasn’t at school. That didn’t really work out as I planned because now I’ll be going to school on Saturdays along with Monday through Friday as TRIP is at William Tennent. Anyway, I liked how we are going to learn how to use lab equipment properly and work with people who we haven’t met before. I love meeting new people, especially who I share common interests with like science! My love for science began in middle school when we first started to go into depth and learn about science in a full-length class. In 6th grade, I remember being fascinated about black holes (we were learning about space at the time) and how people in the scientific community had many unknowns about them. My old, narrow minded self used to think that we knew everything about the world. It didn’t even occur to me that the the uncharted view of the world outside of myself was there. After my 6th grade year I had a different view of the world and a different view for all types of science.
Some of my favorite classes in school are Physics, Biology, and a new subject I started taking this year, computer science and programming. We worked a little with HTML and I hope to learn a lot more within my high school career. In school, some clubs I participate in student government, Key Club, Girls Who Code, and Athletic Council. At William Tennent, I play two sports: volleyball in the fall and softball in the spring. In my free time, I like to sleep, learn songs on the piano, workout, watch Netflix, and hang out with friends. None of my friends are into science as much as myself, so I am really excited to get to become friends and learn with all the people at TRIP who share my passion!
The first week of TRIP was great. The idea of waking up to learn about science on a Saturday morning is a bit odd, but it has been a great time. I love learning how to use a micropipette, make and dilute solutions, and set up an experiment. We were given our experiments, mine is the effects of St. John’s Wort and constant darkness on mood, and I am excited to find the results. On top of all the information we were given, I also got to meet my amazing classmates whom seem great.
The second week of TRIP was just as fun as the first. We made grape plates to be used for later studies. This was a great activity to hone my skills from week 1; I had to combine my skills of making and diluting solutions with micropipetting. The highlight of the day was sorting out flies for my experiment. I had to knock out the flies using CO2 and sort them by male and female. This started off a bit tedious, but as I continued sorting, it became easier and I moved more quickly. I cannot wait to see what next Saturday’s experimental results will bring.
Hi! My name is Rebecca Thomas. I'm a sophomore, and I go to the Downingtown STEM Academy. Music is a big part of my life. I grew up around music, both in church and at home, so I’ve been singing for a very long time. Most of my time is spent listening to or singing music, as I am involved in various choirs in school, the Kennett Symphony Chorus, and at church.
Most of my friends seem to know what they want to do in the future, which is something I wish I could say. That's why I'm so excited for TRIP! I think it will be a good opportunity to expose myself to various careers and explore my interest in science.
In school, although we do labs, our learning is not as hands-on as I would like it to be. The TRIP Initiative works differently from school in that I have the ability work in a lab the whole time. This program allows me to work how a real scientist works! I am able to DO science rather learn science! I get to expand my interest, commitment to learning, and understanding of science.
The first two weeks of TRIP have gone by so fast. I was worried about 5 hours of hard work being straining, but it has not been. Although tiring, the work has been balanced out by our energetic instructors and the fun of meeting and interacting with my peers. I was also a little worried about the whole fly thing because insects...well they're not my favorite, but I’m starting to get used to them! I have already learned a crazy amount of new information, and I can't even imagine what I will have learned by the end of my experience in the TRIP Initiative.
Hello! I am Veronica Zhang, a 2019 TRIP member. I am currently a sophomore at Hatboro-Horsham High School. Throughout the years, I have always carried a deep passion for science, especially biology, with me. Growing up, I was surrounded by family members who devoted their lives to research or treating patients, so I was exposed to all sorts of medical terminology and concepts from a young age. Sitting at the dinner table with my family every night was my favorite part of my childhood days since I was able to learn about the methods that my relatives used to diagnose and treat their patients. I decided to take my love for science to the next level when I applied for a two-month long internship at the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center in Wuxi, China. Those were possibly the best two months of my life! I was able to work in a real genetics lab and work with the model organism of the zebra-fish. My responsibilities included the aquaculture of the zebra-fish, gathering samples, and performing trials of DNA extraction and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The goal of the research team that I was a part of was to see if knocked-out genes would carry on to the next generation of zebra-fish and if the next generation would exhibit any unusual behavior or harmful mutations to their genes. This experience allowed me to get an inside look of the research behind gene therapy and how applicable it can be in the real world. I still vividly remember the thrill that I always felt whenever I put on the white lab coat and picked up the micro-pipette in the laboratory, and that is one of the reasons I applied to join the TRIP Initiative.
Apart from my devotion to science, I am also extremely committed to playing the piano. I have been playing since I was 5 and have currently been playing for more than 10 years. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall six times in the past several years. You could say that I feel at home both in the lab and on the stage! In addition, I enjoy travelling with my family. I have been to Australia, Russia, China, and Canada. My favorite part of traveling is being able to visit historical landmarks that I learned about in school and also to be able to connect with the locals and learn the country’s culture.
I also enjoyed running track during my middle school years. My favorite event to run was the 4 x 100 baton relay, but I also ran the 400m event. I am an active participant and leader of the Future Business Leaders of America club, the Future Medical Leaders of America club, the Interact club, and the Hat Chat newspaper at my school. In addition, I am a member of Hatboro-Horsham’s Science Club and Key Club. Finally, I aspire to pursue a career in the emergency medicine or surgical department in the future. I am so excited to get involved in the TRIP Initiative and to meet other fellow high school-ers who are also interested in science!
Hey! My name is Remington (Remi for short), and I am currently a junior at Upper Dublin High School. I was born in Ohio, but spent three years in China before moving back to America. At five, my family moved to the Pennsylvania we all know and love today. Currently I am looking at a prospective major in biochemistry, which is also why I am in TRIP!
In school, I enjoy a variety of clubs and programs. I am excited to have qualified for FBLA states (Future Business Leaders of America) this year; I can’t wait to go to Hershey to compete! I also participate in science related activities, such as Science Olympiad. I am taking the Chemistry Olympiads this year, so wish me luck!
But wait, there’s more! Outside of school, I play chess and piano as a hobby. When I’m not busy (which seems to be becoming more and more uncommon :/), I go around town with friends or Facetime them. Because I have an android instead of an iPhone, I’m always blamed for having to go the extra mile to Facetime (we need to use an app instead). Apparently, you also can’t name group chats or add people! As a natural problem solver, I tell them that they should all switch to androids. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to listen.
On a serious note, I am very excited to explore TRIP with 7 great people and 5 great instructors! We have only met twice, and I have already learned more about flies than I ever thought I would! I look forward to continuing this journey in the coming months.
Hey everyone! My name is Evan Qiang and I am a junior at Wissahickon High School. I love anything science or math related (except physics, which I try to stay away from at all costs). I particularly like biology and neuroscience, and I plan to do something related to these fields when I go to college.
In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano and viola, learning new languages, and listening to music I grew up with in middle school. I also volunteer at the Abington-Lansdale hospital and teach MathCounts to elementary school students, who are always crazy but never fail to put a smile on my face! At school, I am a senator on the student council and an officer for the science club.